President asks Aceh to curb unemployment rate

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf to keep down the provinces unemployment rate, which currently stands at 7.95 percent.

"With the existing natural resources and other potentials in Aceh, I believe that we will be able to implement evenly distribute development projects in Aceh to curb the provinces open unemployment rate, which currently stands at 7.93 percent," the president said, in his opening address to a limited meeting on national strategic projects and programs in Aceh province, on Tuesday.

Also present at the meeting were Coordinating Minister for Economy Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, and several ministers. Also present were Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf and Vice Governor Nova Iriansyah, who were inducted only on July 5.

"Aceh is one of the provinces in Indonesia which receives recognition and honor from the state as a special province and special autonomous region," he stated.

Hopefully, the status of special province and special autonomous region will be able to give the greatest possible benefit not only to the welfare and prosperity of the local people but also to the Indonesian nation as well to strengthen the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, which is diverse in unity, he remarked.

According to official data, the economic growth in Aceh in the first quarter of 2017 reached 2.87 percent, well below the national economic growth rate of 5.01 percent.

"Therefore, the governor, the vice governor, and their ranks and files of the Aceh provincial government still have to work hard to manage and benefit from all key potentials of the province to push up its economic growth and create welfare for its people," he added.

To that end, he asked the Aceh provincial government to develop key sectors and agricultural industry, integrate downstream industrial sector, and prepare human resources.

"To boost the key sectors, the central government will expedite infrastructure projects in Aceh, including the construction of dams and electrical power plants and the development of a special economic zone in Lhoksemuawe," he revealed.(*)